‘Better than we ever thought’ - the couple running a glassware business from a garage
- Credit: Green Bottle Glass
Most couples keep their car, a ladder and some old paint cans in their garage. Sarah Babington and Paul Buckley have a glassware factory in theirs.
When they’re not working their day jobs, the Dereham-based couple run a business called Green Bottle Glass - a purveyor of beautiful and unique tumblers, vases and candles.
“We went to France for a weekend,” said Ms Babington, “and we were talking about starting a business. We saw tumblers in one restaurant made from the bottom of wine bottles, and we thought: that’s just what we’re looking for.”
“We were always interested in glass and did a lot of research. About three months later, we were in our garage with industrial machinery. We decided not to do it as a hobby, but to set it up as a proper business.”
All of the glass items are upcycled and handcrafted from empty bottles given away by pubs and restaurants.
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Ms Babington, who works as an osteopath, said that the business was “very much riding the wave” of the zeitgeist.
“It’s bang on trend.” she said. “It’s environmentally friendly and about recycling, keeping everything out of landfill, using local, and buying local.”
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The glasses are painstakingly produced through a 14 stage process.
“It doesn’t matter how big or small it is, it all needs the same stages,” said Ms Babington. “You start with a rough grinding and then it gets smoother and smoother. Then we polish them and you end up with a nice, shiny rim, which takes some skill.”
Ms Babington said that she and her partner were looking ahead to their retirement and they wanted to find something they could still work on when they’re a bit older.
Established in September 2019, Green Bottle Glass has had to deal with a pandemic in its first year.
“We used to go to lots of different markets,” said Ms Babington, “but of course they’ve all shut down. Coronavirus has definitely affected our business, although we’re now coming into a bit of a Christmas rush.”
Indeed, despite the virus, Ms Babington said Green Bottle Glass was “really busy with online orders now. It’s better than we ever thought.”